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Amusement Parks: Freestyle Hairloss.

Opinion

Sure enough the press have lapped it up and the attraction has created a good bit of buzz and gained coverage in a number of the country’s most influential media outlets (eg The Times, The Guardian, Blooloop, etc). This canny faux-recruitment-as-PR is catching on too, just this morning splashed across the TV and papers is news that Wookey Hole, an attraction in Somerset, is looking for  a Witch. Pays well and applicants mustn’t be allergic to cats apparently.

Also arriving in our office today (or rather our chunk of cyberspace) a press release from a company  purporting outrage at the new Freestyle Music Park’s TV ad campaign in which a coaster rider loses his wig during one particularly violent dip. (see : Leading Hair Loss Website to Urge Boycott of SC Theme Park )

The note declares in part that, "The officials at Freestyle Music Park should be ashamed and embarrassed for not only promoting this cheap, low-level and insulting ad, but then by defending it as ‘fun’. The issuer of this indignant statement is a web-based company that provides consumer information about hair-loss treatment. The company even labels baldness as a physical disability.

It brings to mind Bob Newhart’s great skit about the guy returning a toupee to the department store from which his wife bought it  (“Mr Wonderful”, is that right?”). [See Dean Martin trying to be a straight man here]

Entirely coincidentally, the company is also happily placed to assist such poor people – those unfortunate Hogarthian grotesques-  by providing them with the very best in wigs – sorry, “hair systems”. Refreshing to see such altruism in the corporate world!

Zombies, witches and wigs: different flavours of chutzpah to admire (or not). Some would call it guerrilla marketing . Maybe a bit of cross pollination is in order as I’m pretty sure zombies are follically challenged and even witches have bad hair days.

Spent each of the last two weekends at festivals in Dorset in the West of England, Thomas Hardy country. Four days of constant rain, listening to a wide variety of  folk musicians from the four corners of Bulgaria and trudging through 6 inches of mud. Bought a hatful of CDs by bands I hadn’t heard of playing songs I’ll not hear again. Will use them as drink coasters. Smug man with a beard and beads in his Yurt next to my tent, managed to play guitar badly through two nights without it being smashed over his head. Saw one of the BBC’s Happy Shopper intellectuals, Mark Kermode, a man who (seriously) reckons “The Exorcist” to be the best film ever made.

These festivals attract people hawking New Age wares and therapies  by the truckful. There were homeopaths, aromatherapists, a Reiki practitioner, a Palmistry technician (the word “technician” meaning there’s some kind of science involved you see), crystal energy consultants,   reflexologists, ozone therapists, urine therapists, ear candlers and all manner of traveling salesmen peddling their wares and services to people with mud up to their knees.

Didn’t see any zombies or witches. Maybe they should advertise next year?

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Rachel Reed

Rachel Read

Rachel is Finance Director. She has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloittes in London. She worked in finance in industry for twenty years. She oversees our news and also manages our events.

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